Pakistan military scrambles jets over ‘IAF violation’
Tensions escalate after first clash of its kind since war in 1971
Pakistan has accused India's military of violating its airspace, and says its air force has scrambled jets in response.
Major General Asif Ghafoor tweeted: “Indian Air Force violated Line of Control. Pakistan Air Force immediately scrambled. Indian aircrafts gone back. Details to follow.”
He said that the “intrusion" had come three to four miles across the border which divides India-administered Kashmir from Pakistan-administered Kashmir. “No infrastructure got hit, no casualties,” he added.
The move comes after an Indian minister said that air force jets had hit “terror camps” across the ceasefire line in Kashmir. Sources told an Indian news agency that 12 fighter jets had crossed into Pakistani territory and destroyed a “major terrorist camp”.
However, Pakistani military said the Indian jets had dropped their payload early while fleeing from defending forces.
This was the first aerial bombing over the disputed border since the two countries went to war in 1971.
Tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours are at their “highest in years”, The Guardian says, after a suicide bomber drove an explosive-filled vehicle into a convoy of Indian troops on 14 February.
At least 40 soldiers were killed in the deadliest attack in the region in decades, which India blamed on Pakistan, an allegation the country denies.
According to the New York Times, tensions between the two nations are “unlikely” to erupt into full-scale war but The Times of India points out that the Indian Air Force remains “on high alert” today.
India and Pakistan both claim all of Kashmir. The nations have fought three wars and a limited conflict since they seized independence from Britain in 1947.
On Sunday, Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan said his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi should "give peace a chance”.